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Emegency Capping Question

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Mark_W

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lol - it's an emergency because I am just about to bottle so need a quick answer -pretty please with beer on top....

Ok - never used a bench capper before... about to bottle a lager (like now) and did a few practice runs with a stubby (twist tops)... The cap goes on and looks fine - the thing is it is REALLY easy to unscrew.... is that right?? Does it get get "tighter" as the sugar ferments and the bottle gasses??

I am sure I am being paranoid but don't want to lose my xmas pilsener.

Thanks in advance.
 

roach

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mmmmmm. the odd twist top i have capped using a bench capper went on nice and tight, as such it shouldn't unscrew at all. i would say that you need to recap it a bit tighter. i assume you have a std benchcapper(not with the champagne tirage bell) using standard caps.

good luck
 

Mark_W

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Yes it's a stock standard capper using "soft" caps for twist tops.

They appear nice and tight - ie I can't tighten them any further and they don't just drop off - but they unscrew very easily - a lot more easily than a commercial beer.

I'm guessing once it gasses it will be fine but was hoping for some reassurance before possibly wasting this brew.

I'll practice a few more and hope someone on here can give me some guidance in the next few minutes or so while I'm doing all my preperation.
 

big d

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hard to say without looking at the capper but it sounds to me like it is not pushing the cap sides over against the thread far enough.have you a back up eg hand capper to get you outta this situation.

cheers
big d
 

Mark_W

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No - I have decided to use whatever PET bottles I can scrounge and then use the rest in bottles - that way i can see uif it is okay and if it's not at least I won't lose too much.

Interested in peoples opinions though so if anyone does have any ideas let me know.

Cheers.

I'm off to bottle.
 

jgriffin

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I've found the same thing with some bottles - they are fine once they carbonate up.
 

bonk

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i found with the twist tops is that it needs to 'click' twice. it would look like it was on, but a bit more brute strength and it would like again and be on nice and tight.
 

vlbaby

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hi markw,
i just did a quick test on my capper, and its exactly the same as you described. I wouldnt worry about it, as it will become tighter once things begin to carbonate.

cheers

vlbaby
 

Mark_W

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Thanks all - esp. you vlbaby - I needed peace of mind.

In the end I only used a dozen or so stubbys - the rest PET bottle. Had a little taste test and it's shaping up nicely so even a dozen lost would bring tears to the eyes :p
 

Boots

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Cap a stubby with some hot water in it and give it a shake - the hot water will cause pressure to build inside. If it's not on tight enough it will leak.

Be carefull you don't make it too hot tho, you'll make a bomb perhaps warm water would be best?
 

spog

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mark w,i know i may be a bit late with my two bobs worth,but its sounds similar to a prob, i had myself try setting your capper down one extra notch the bell will over time wear in. when you have capped one hold the bottle,stubby with a finger on the cap and turn it upside down a few times to check for leakage i used to do this when i first started and was using a standard capper/hammer set up and the habit is still with me today. cheers spog
 

Barry cranston

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Good Day
For twist tops I set the capper so the bottle just fits under it and this gives a firm seal ( you can feel it when you lever down).
All the best, Barry.
 

Backlane Brewery

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The first time we used the Super Automatica we had very patchy results over the two batches we bottled. Had random flats through both lots- very frustrating because you can't just chuck them all away.
The caps look like they are on properly- even when you do a quick shake test- but they're not.
I've found the best way is to slide the bell unit down until you think it's right, and then go one notch further down. If you can get a bottle with a cap on top in by sliding it in sideways the bell is too high.
There should be a magnet up in the bell- stick a cap up on it and then sort of angle the bottle in sideways. When you release the lever, the cap and bottle should be kind of stuck in the bell. They will come out with a firm twist.
This gives you perfectly vertical sides on the cap all the way down.
 

Pyssedas Heavy Industrial

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the turning upside down is also a necessary process to let your carbonation agent mix through your beer properly - assuming of course that you are not bulk-priming
 

Backlane Brewery

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May be a bit off-topic, but anyway..a couple of weeks ago I was lugging some brews home on the tram and got to talking to a bloke whose father makes beer. He told me his father collects/saves used twisty tops, and seals them onto his bottles with a ring spanner. Kinda like those giveaway "stubbie spanners" that were around when twist tops first came out, but in reverse I guess.
I don't think it would work, but this guy assured me it does. Any else ever heard of this? May be a useful tip in an emergency.
 

Darren

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Heya BB,
I know someone who bottles all his beers in coopers stubbies. When he drinks them for the first time he rinses them and keeps the caps. He then simply twists the caps "on" with his hands when he re-bottles.
No need for a spanner! Not sure if he has ever had a flat one
 

PostModern

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Pyssedas Heavy Industrial said:
the turning upside down is also a necessary process to let your carbonation agent mix through your beer properly - assuming of course that you are not bulk-priming
An amazing way to oxidise your beer, too. Don't turn them upside down!
 

Backlane Brewery

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But- if you bulk prime (like we usually do) OR if you get all organised and prime and fill in batches of say half a dozen at a time, if you don't cap them immediately, doesn't the CO2 formed drive the air/oxygen/nasties in the neck & headspace out before the cap goes on? :(
So that turning it upside down or whatever would be starting to carbonate it, not oxidise it? <_<
Don't mean to sound picky but this "let the CO2 drive out the air" aspect is part of our bottling routine.
 

MCWB

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Firstly, turning bottles upside down is going to do bugger-all for your carbonation. If you're not bulk priming, the sugar/DME you use for priming is very soluble, and given that you're only using 8-15 g per litre (depending on what you're using to prime and your desired carbonation level) it will dissolve pretty damn fast. Even if it doesn't all dissolve, the rest will dissolve in a matter of hours (aint entropy great), so you don't need to invert the bottles.

If you're bulk-priming then your sugar should already be dissolved and your solution homogeneous before you bottle, so it's a non-issue, and inverting bottles will do nothing.

To be honest "letting the CO2 drive out the air" also strikes me as being complete crap. How long are you leaving them uncapped for, and how fast do you think the yeast start to produce CO2 after you prime?
 

pint of lager

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The super automatica here is about 15 years old and have never had a flat degassed beer from any cappings with it. The only degassed/flat beer was when I used the wooden hand capper for the first time and didn't hammer on enough.

As said before, set the capping bell to the lowest poinr where bottles just slide under. Occasionaly, an odd sized bottle doesn't cap properly, just a bit too low to cap fully, and then you need to lower the capper a notch with the bottle in place to cap properly.

There is a magnet in the head, but have never found it really successful to use.

I bulk prime, and as soon as the bottle is filled, place the cap on without running through the capper. When all the bottles are full, then I run the bottles through the capper. Sometimes the caps start burping before the filling is finished, which means the headspace is being burped of oxygen. During bottle washing and filling, they get sorted into similar size heights, just to save on continually adjusting the capper height.

You can buy replacement bells for the superautomatica at your hbs.

Yep, have heard of people saving the twist tops. These tend to be the cost anal people who rinse the bottle a few times after drinking the contents, replace the cap, and then refill with wonderful Coles kit and sugar.
 

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